Nowadays, most websites already have application for mobile apps that can be accessed from anywhere and anytime. We can get those applications by downloading through App Store for iPhone users or Google Play for Android users. Sometimes, we also find a website that somehow “invite” us to download application by generating a sort of pop-up box that covers almost all parts of the website’s content. This is known as App Download Interstitial.
What is App Download Interstitial?
At first, App Download Interstitial was commonly used to promote and increase number of mobile application downloads. This method had been used by Google to promote their G+ mobile apps, which kept appearing whenever we opened G+ pages through websites. However, according to Google official blog, Google informed the users to not use the App Download Interstitial on their websites any more effective since early of September 2015. Google even said that if the users still use this method, their websites will no longer be considered as mobile-friendly.
“After November 1, mobile web pages that show an app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page will no longer be considered mobile-friendly.”
As we all know, currently Google encouraging every website to be mobile-friendly, because only website considered as mobile-friendly could appear on mobile search results. If your website keeps using App Download Interstitial, Google will see your website as not mobile-friendly website which will affect your organic traffic terms. At this very moment, Google even has updated their mobile-friendly tools to ensure every webmaster can check if their websites still use the interstitial download page or not so make sure you ask your web developer to delete the interstitial download page from your website.
This decision was taken by Google based on case studies conducted by Google in their G+ website. Google found out that the presence of interstitial page had negatively affected user’s experience. This study also found that the interstitial page on G+ could only produce 9% from the total visitors who landed on that page. Meanwhile, mostly visitors (69%) chose to just ignore the interstitial page. That means, most of people got annoyed whenever they saw the website with interstitial page and chose to visit mobile website instead of downloading its mobile apps.
In addition, Google has been experimenting to remove the interstitial page in G+ website. As a result, there was 17% amount of increasing visitors on the same day. Although removing the interstitial does not lead to more app downloads, but it leads to fewer mobile visitors abandon the webpage. At least, their websites are more mobile-friendly now and their visitors’ experiences are increasing.
After this, it will be preferable to immediately replace your App Download Interstitial with other methods. While it may seem like an effective promotional tool for your app, Google argues that it can create unnecessary friction for your mobile visitors. Moreover, based on the previous experience, after Google officially releases information like this, it will be followed by a new algorithm that can certainly have an impact to your website.